Ice Age: Continental Drift

  • Review Date: July 11, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Prehistoric pals hit the seas for an exciting adventure.
  • Review Date: July 11, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids might be inspired to learn about prehistoric animals, but Ice Age: Continental Drift is obviously intended for entertainment purposes and shouldn't be considered an accurate depiction of the way ancient mammals interacted.

Positive messages

The central idea of every Ice Age film is that your herd (family) isn't necessarily the one you're born with but the tribe that protects you and loves you unconditionally. Even though Sid's sloth family abandons him, Manny and Diego never will. The subplot with Peaches reminds viewers that true friends accept you as you are, not under the condition that you dump another friend first.

Positive role models

The main characters are all committed to their herd, even in the direst of circumstances. Sid and Diego never question Manny's determination to get back to Ellie and Peaches. Ellie is a patient and understanding mother. Peaches is a somewhat stereotypical teenager who's embarrassed by her over-protective parents, but she learns how lucky she is by the end of the movie. Ellie's best friend Louis might look like a weakling, but when things get scary, he summons his courage to save Peaches. Even usually senile Grandma knows a lot more than she lets on.

Violence & scariness

Lots of cartoonish violence, as per usual with the Ice Age movies. Scrat unintentionally causes widespread destruction and personal harm in his attempt to secure his precious acorn. Young kids might be scared when Manny, Diego, and Sid are separated from the rest of the herd. The pirate Captain Gutt is menacing and tells a frightening story about how he got his nickname. He's bent on revenge and is willing to sacrifice any of his pirates to achieve it. None of the other characters is really hurt, however, so there isn't a body count or anything too gruesome. Also, the sirens in their original form are quite creepy looking.

Sexy stuff

Peaches has a crush on Ethan, while her molehog best friend, Louis, is smitten with her. Peaches calls Ethan "hot." Diego and Shira flirt and eventually declare their interest in each other. Sid and Manny poke fun at Diego for not realizing he's falling in love. In one funny sequence, monstrous "sirens" appear as the opposite sex to lure Scrat, Manny, Sid, Sid's Granny, Diego, etc. to them. The male sloth (who looks like Fabio in sloth form) makes a suggestive statement to Sid's grandma about the "wrinklier the fruit, the juicier the fruit."

Language

Mild insults include "idiot," "freaks," and "stupid." There's also some scatological humor about puking, farting, burping, etc.

Consumerism

No product placements in the movie, but the Ice Age franchise has many merchandise tie-ins off camera, including Happy Meal collectible toys, plush dolls, figurines, games, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ice Age: Continental Drift is the fourth installment in Fox's popular prehistoric animal franchise. Even the youngest moviegoers will want to follow Manny, Sid, and Diego's latest adventures. Like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, this one's in 3-D and features some cartoonish violence, mild romance, a smattering of insults, and some scatological humor. On the plus side, there are a lot of overtly positive messages about family and friendship.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Scrat's (voiced by Chris Wedge) neverending pursuit of the almighty acorn leads him to the Earth's core, where he inadvertently causes prehistoric Earth's single supercontinent to break up into smaller pieces. Before things literally fall apart, Manny (Ray Romano) and his wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), must deal with (stereo)typical adolescent defiance from their teen daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), who wants to impress heartthrob mammoth Ethan (hip-hop star Drake), even if it means dumping her faithful best friend, a molehog named Louis (Broadway star Josh Gad). When the Earth begins to shake, Manny, Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), Sid the goofy sloth (John Leguizamo), and his senile Granny (Wanda Sykes) are stuck on an iceberg that flows out to sea, where they encounter a band of pirates led by the menacing Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), an ape with no interest in the trio's desire to reunite with the rest of their herd.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

ICE AGE: CONTINTENTAL DRIFT isn't the most inspired film in the series, but these characters are like comfort food -- pleasingly familiar. The original threesome is now middle-aged, and with their age come new problems, particularly for overprotective father Manny. The new setting (at sea) doesn't leave room for much breathtaking animation, but the action sequences are pretty spectacular in 3-D, even if the story is a little flimsy. At least Scrat gets more screen time than ever (and if there's an animated creature bound to tickle every single member of the audience's funny bone, it's the Sisyphean Scrat).

Continental Drift's new characters/storylines are both hit and miss -- things fall flat with the teens (Louis and Peaches are cute, but the young mammoth clique featuring the voices of Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Glee star Heather Morris is just an annoying attempt to capture the tween audience), but the addition of Granny is rather genius. The addled but hilarious sloth grandma is by far the breakout new character, and her silly comments and constant muttering will win kids over and make even jaded parents laugh aloud. Girls will also be taken with the low-key love story that develops between Diego and Shira (Jennifer Lopez), a pirate tigress who needs a lesson in the meaning of camaraderie. While it's not the best animated adventure you'll see, Ice Age 4 is sure to please the kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the franchise's defining message about the meaning of family. What defines a family? How is Sid's "biological" family a disappointment compared to his herd?

  • Is Peaches a believable teenager? Why are teens embarrassed by their parents? How do Peaches and Manny reconcile their difference of opinion?

  • Do the Ice Age movies feel complete now, or would you like to see another one? How does Continental Drift compare to the three others? Which one is your favorite?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 13, 2012
DVD release date:December 11, 2012
Cast:Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano
Directors:Mike Thurmeier, Steve Martino
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Ocean creatures, Pirates, Wild animals
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild rude humor and action/peril

This review of Ice Age: Continental Drift was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byTrami Nguyen July 13, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Ice Age 4 is perfect!

I like this movie!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written byGabywazhere July 30, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Great movie for me and my family!

I think it was a GREAT movie for me and my kids to watch!(AGES:5,7,8-twins)4 in total! It was GREAT !
Kid, 9 years old July 25, 2012
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Violence and language!!!

There is plenty of cartoon violence and some use of the word "cr-p".
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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